• Photo: Jimmy Chin
  • Photo: Keith Ladzinski

Conrad Anker’s All-American Climb

Conrad Anker, the leader of The North Face climbing team known for his ascents it Antarctica, Tibet, Everest, and Himalaya, recently sat down with Ralph Lauren’s RL Magazine before a return trip to Nepal to tease his latest film, National Parks Adventure, and to reminisce on some of his favorite parks. Just last summer, Anker appeared in the documentary Meru, which followed his journey up “Shark’s Fin” mountain pass. The documentary, which featured Anker climbing alongside Jimmy Chin and Renan Ozturk, won the documentary Audience Award at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, RL Mag notes.

National Parks Adventure, however, puts Anker firmly back on his footing. The 3-D IMAX film is, essentially, a tour of America’s parkland, largely in honor of the National Park Service’s centennial birthday. Anker says that the story of the parks hits close to home in terms of his own climbs. “To be able to, in this day and age, find rest, relaxation and rejuvenation in the mountains, that’s really a key component of being outdoors. Much of the best climbing in the US is in national park sites. As climbers, we really appreciate it and we feel an obligation to be stewards,” he tells the magazine. The film features Anker, along with his son Max, traveling out West. Using a 3-D camera Anker says is “about the size of a dishwasher and about 300 pounds,” and a 2-D camera he describes as “about the size of a microwave with a thousand whittles attached to it,” Anker articulates how difficult it is to film while climbing, especially on location at Devil’s Tower. Though he notes the climb is incredibly popular, getting the cameras on the cliff was complicated. “We had to basically take turns body-hauling them up,” he told RL Mag.

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